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Excellence Initiative

The programme Excellence Initiative was started on the 18 July 2005 and will end on the 31 October 2017. Graduate Schools, Clusters of Excellence and Institutional Strategies funded through the Excellence Initiative on the basis of the Excellence Agreement II may apply for bridge funding for a maximum of 24 months with funding to begin on 1 November 2017. For details visit the website of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation).
Information of the Wissenschaftsrat (WR, German Council of Science and Humanities) on the programme Excellence Strategy can be found here.

The Excellence Initiative is intended to strengthen Germany as a location of excellent science and humanities, to enhance its international competitiveness, and to increase the visibility of top-level universities and research areas.

The Excellence Initiative is conducted by the DFG and the WR. It comprises three funding lines:

  1. Graduate Schools to promote young researchers,
  2. Clusters of Excellence to promote top-level research,
  3. Institutional Strategies to strengthen the institution “university” and its research setting as a whole.

The WR is in charge of the third funding line, while the DFG is responsible for the first and second funding line. In total, € 4.6 bn of funding through all three funding lines were approved, € 1.9 bn for the first programme phase (2006-2012), € 2.7 bn for the second programme phase (2012-2017). 25 % of the funding is given by the state where that particular university is located, 75 % is provided by the Federal Government.


In the aftermath of the funding decisions in 2006, 2007 and 2012 the universities implemented their funded projects with the WR and the DFG monitoring and supervising this process. In 2008 and 2015 both institutions submitted reports on the Excellence Initiative to the Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz (GWK, Joint Science Conference). (more…)

Funding Decisions

On 13 October 2006, on 19 October 2007 and on 15 June 2012 the Grant Committee of the Excellence Initiative decided to fund 85 proposals (first programme phase) and 99 initial and renewal proposals in the second programme phase of the Excellence Initiative (2012-2017). (more…)

History und Documents

In this section background information to the Excellence Initiative and documents about the first and second programme phase from 2006 to 2012 are displayed. (more…)

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